Wave rallies past Raiders

  • Above, Greenfield’s Kirsten Ward carries the ball up the court past Hampshire defender Madelyn Pond Friday where the Green Wave stormed back from a 22-point deficit to top the Raiders, 70-62, at the Spalding HoopHall Classic at Blake Arena on the campus of Springfield College. Below, Green Wave forward Samantha Smith goes strong to the hoop past a pair of Hampshire defenders en route to her 13 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots. For The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts

  • Greenfield’s Samantha Smith goes up strong in the lane on Friday where she notched a double-double with 12 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocked shots as the Green Wave earned a 70-62 victory over Hampshire at the Spalding HoopHall Classic in Springfield. For The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts

  • Greenfield guard Raegan Hickey pulls up over Hampshire defender Kyleen Labrecque Friday where she scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Green Wave to a 70-62 win at the Spalding HoopHall Classic in Springfield. For The Recorder/J. Anthony Roberts

For The Recorder
Friday, January 12, 2018

SPRINGFIELD — Who else but Raegan Hickey?

The Greenfield High School senior point guard delivered on both ends of the floor when her team needed a leader.

The Green Wave was tied, 56-56, with Hampshire Regional High School at Springfield College’s Blake Arena during the Spalding Hoophall Classic after a Lizzy Howland layup late in the game as it clawed back from a large deficit. On the ensuing Hampshire possession, Hickey hounded Hampshire freshman point guard Lila Labrie up the floor. As Labrie crossed the halfcourt line, Hickey poked the ball away off Labrie’s foot, getting the ball back after a kick.

In turn, Hampshire pressed, but Hickey broke it, racing down the floor for a layup. That score gave Greenfield its first lead with 2 minutes, 45 seconds remaining and despite trailing by as many as 22 in the game the Green Wave rallied for a 70-62 victory Friday.

“In tough situations like that you just have to stay calm and focus on what’s really important,” Hickey said.

Hickey finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. She steadied the Green Wave (8-1) during a frantic final few minutes.

Greenfield (8-1 overall) took its first lead, 58-56, with 2:45 left, but Hampshire (8-1), which entered the game unbeaten, wouldn’t let it run away. Katelyn Pickunka, who scored 34 for the Raiders, tied it back up with a jumper.

Greenfield took the lead twice more on a jumper by Racquel Provost and another Howland layup, but Pickunka answered both times, and the game was tied at 62 with 1:29 left.

“Katleyn played so well, she had an awesome game around the rim,” Hampshire coach Amy Cyr said.

Hickey orchestrated perfectly on the next play, finding Howland for a layup and a 64-62 lead Greenfield wouldn’t relinquish with 1:20 remaining.

“That’s what we needed,” Greenfield coach John Hickey said. “That was my message at halftime, it’s up to you guys.”

Hampshire’s Caroline O’Connor fouled out 20 seconds later, which hurt the Raiders’ ability to rebound. They didn’t score again, and Greenfield closed out the game with a 8-0 run.

“I’m really proud they didn’t give up,” John Hickey said. “They could have tanked it at halftime.”

Few would have blamed them.

Greenfield trailed 38-20 at halftime after committing 14 turnovers in the first quarter and 22 in the first half. The Green Wave finished with 34 turnovers in a frantic game.

Both teams pressed throughout. Hampshire just did it better early, leading 21-5 after a quarter.

“We put a lot of pressure on the basketball,” Cyr said. “I think our first quarter was our best quarter.”

Greenfield opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run that settled its nerves.

“They just sucked it up mentally and came back,” John Hickey said. “They started to believe in themselves.”

Greenfield outscored Hampshire 49-24 in the second half.

Hickey led that charge with 15 of her 20 points after halftime, and Samantha Smith chipped in 13 points and 20 rebounds.

“Sometimes I don’t think she realizes how athletic she is,” John Hickey said of Smith. He also lauded the play of Provost, who helped spark the Wave in the second half. 

The win was Greenfield’s sixth in a row. The Green Wave will host Southwick-Tolland Regional School at 6 p.m. Monday.

“We play a lot of weaker teams not getting us ready for tournament, that will help us (for the postseason),” Raegan Hickey said.